Review of periodic limb movement and restless leg syndrome

J Postgrad Med. 2010 Apr-Jun;56(2):157-62. doi: 10.4103/0022-3859.65284.


Periodic limb movement (PLM) and Restless leg syndrome (RLS) are types of sleep disorders that are not very well recognized in clinical practice. While RLS is a clinical diagnosis, the diagnosis of PLM is made by polysomnography. They share the same pathophysiology and often respond to the same treatment. To date all the epidemiological studies have reported the prevalence between 2% and 15%. It has recently become known that mild obstructive sleep apnea and upper airway resistance syndrome (UARS) can masquerade as PLM syndrome. New discoveries have been made with regard to genetics and PLM and RLS. Detailed review on this subject should improve the awareness of these disorders, both among general physicians and specialists. Extensive review of journals in the past 20 years was made using Medline search.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Dopamine Agents / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • India
  • Nocturnal Myoclonus Syndrome* / diagnosis
  • Nocturnal Myoclonus Syndrome* / drug therapy
  • Nocturnal Myoclonus Syndrome* / epidemiology
  • Nocturnal Myoclonus Syndrome* / physiopathology
  • Prevalence
  • Quality of Life
  • Restless Legs Syndrome* / diagnosis
  • Restless Legs Syndrome* / drug therapy
  • Restless Legs Syndrome* / epidemiology
  • Restless Legs Syndrome* / physiopathology


  • Dopamine Agents